The era of Xavi Hernández at the helm of FC Barcelona brought about a profound change in the culé team, especially on the offensive front. With the recent departures of Ansu Fati and Abde Ezzalzouli, a month after the departure of Ousmane Dembélé, the Barcelona squad no longer has any of the strikers who were present when Xavi took over in November 2021.
At that time the team had a large squad of strikers, but with varying levels of quality. Players like Dembélé, Yusuf Demir, Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, Luuk de Jong, Ansu Fati, Sergio Agüero and Philippe Coutinho were part of the squad, as well as young reserve talents Abde, Ilias Akhomach and Ferran Jutglà.
However, over the course of his tenure, Xavi has undertaken a significant restructuring of the squad, particularly on the attacking front. Barcelona currently have an offensive formation that includes promising young players such as Lamine Yamal, who is only 16 years old, Ferran Torres, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Joao Félix. The latter joined the team on loan from Atlético de Madrid on the last day of the summer market, in response to Ansu and Abde’s request for a protocol.
The January 2022 transfer window marked the beginning of the transformation, with the arrival of Ferran Torres for €55 million plus €10 million in variables from Manchester City, as well as the acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined the team for free after leaving Arsenal . In addition, former Barça player Adama Traoré returned to the club on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Big changes start in the form of departures
This winter, Yusuf Demir moved to Rapid Vienna and Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa, the latter with a purchase option that resulted in a sale for 20 million in May 2022. However, some of these new additions didn’t last. Adama Traoré and Luuk de Jong did not continue playing after their loan spells and salary restrictions led to Aubameyang moving to Chelsea in September. But Barcelona benefited from a significant gain with this transfer eight months after his arrival, with Raphinha and Lewandowski in the squad.
Martin Braithwaite also left the club to join Espanyol, while Memphis Depay postponed his departure until January 2023 when Atlético de Madrid paid three million euros plus a million in bonuses, leaving him with less than half a year left on his contract. This was followed by the departures that occurred in this transfer market